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Balthus (French, 1908-2001) Study for La Leçon de guitare

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American & European Works of Art - 3100B
Date / Time :
May 11, 2018 10:00AM


Balthus (French, 1908-2001)

Study for La Leçon de guitare
Unsigned, attributed, titled, and dated "...1934" in the catalogue raisonné (see below), with labels from B.C. Holland Gallery, Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Museum Ludwig, Köln, affixed to the frame backing.
Pencil on paper, sight size 8 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (21.5 x 29.8 cm), framed.
Condition: Crease u.l., scattered handling creases, rippling, foxing, not examined out of frame.

Literature: Virginie Monnier and Jean Clair, Balthus: Catalogue Raisonné of the Complete Works (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1999), catalog number D 449, illustrated p. 220; Sabine Rewald, Balthus, Time Suspended: Paintings and Drawings 1932-1960 (Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 2007), catalog number 30, illustrated p. 107; Sabine Rewald, Balthus (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984), p. 31, fig. 42.

Exhibitions: Balthus in Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, August 2–November 9, 1980, checklist number 16 (as "Study for The Harp"); Balthus: Time Suspended, Paintings and Drawings 1932-1960, Museum Ludwig, Köln, August 18–November 4, 2007.

N.B. This drawing is one of many that Balthus made in preparation for the painting La Leçon de guitare, 1934 (currently in a private collection).
Estimate $8,000-12,000

The crease upper left is diagonal and measures approximately 5 inches, and a smaller diagonal crease, measuring approximately 1 1/4 in., lies just above the larger crease. There are dogear creases to the corners. The rippling is minor, and there is pale toning. There are small stains at center left and upper center. There are tape remnants in two places along the left edge on the verso (with corresponding stains to the recto). The sheet is hinged to the mat at three places along the upper edge on the verso, and the hinge at upper left has come loose. The lower edge of the sheet is deckled.

Inscribed "P65-11-8," "337-," and "4584 HOLLAND" in pencil on the verso.

Sheet dimensions: 8 x 12 1/8 in.
Framed dimensions: 14 1/4 x 18 5/8 in.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Sabine Rewald, Virginie Monnier, Balthus, French art, French people, Jean Clair, Visual arts, Chicago, Munich, Museum Ludwig, Paris